Steak and wine delivered to your door – check, dog grooming service that comes to your home – check, dry cleaning delivered to your door, check! Concierge-style services are cropping up all over the island, but have you heard of a medical concierge? While it might be quite handy to have someone guide you through a new healthcare system, or even accompany you to doctor’s appointments, do you and your family really need one?
Some international health insurance brokers also offer advice on finding the right GP, are on hand to sort out your medical claims and may even help out during any trips to the hospital. We chat to Head of Sales (Singapore), Alejandra Perez from insurance broker Pacific Prime Singapore about the differences between the two options and which one is right for you.
What exactly is a medical concierge?
A medical concierge is a business that helps their clients with healthy living and medical care. Many work on a fee or a subscription-based model, meaning you pay either a set amount per service or a monthly or yearly fee.
What services do some insurance companies offer which are similar to this?
Some insurance companies are available round-the-clock to answer questions related to health insurance and medical treatment. Depending on where they operate, this could be limited to just one country or be global in nature. Pacific Prime Singapore, for example, handles client inquiries globally. Additionally, some may be able to help with medical emergencies in other countries, including medical evacuation. A handful of companies may even be willing to accompany clients to doctors appointments. Increasingly we’re finding international insurance companies are offering more of these types of concierges services.
How does a concierge differ from an insurance broker?
The best insurance brokers will also often be able to recommend quality doctors, help with your medical claims, and some will even have staff who can help you when you visit the hospital by accompanying and being on hand to answer any questions you may have.
That said, brokers focus on providing insurance and backing it up with quality customer service and solutions, while concierges offer a service.
Another key difference is where the income for both types of companies comes from. Medical concierges gain their income directly from their clients while brokers get theirs from insurers. Of course, the insurers derive their income from the premiums you pay, some of which goes to pay the broker.
This in turn encourages brokers to focus on customer satisfaction and making sure clients see value in the services offered. Many brokers work with a wide variety of insurance providers and in order to ensure their clients get the best, will act with impartiality.
Which is the better option?
Both are a viable option. There is little doubt that ethical medical concierges provide a valuable service in Singapore. Where they tend to lack value however is if you are outside of Singapore, as most services usually are based in the city and often will be unable to help if you are in another country.
For this reason, people who work exclusively in Singapore, and don’t do much travel, may be a better fit for the services provided by a medical concierge. People who travel frequently, whether for business or pleasure, and families that take regular holidays, may find the product offerings and service provided by an international health insurance broker may be better suited for addressing all potential medical needs at home and abroad.
This is where insurance brokers, especially those who are global in nature and offer international health insurance plans can really help. If your broker offers extra services like claims handling, emergency contact or advice on where to seek medical attention, they will likely be able to do so in almost any country, especially if you secure international health insurance.
Presented by Pacific Prime Singapore Insurance Brokers
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